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Charlene Lois Saunders
Charlene Lois Saunders

WARREN – Charlene Lois Saunders, 83, of Warren, Illinois passed away peacefully at her home on Monday, December 9, 2019 after a brief illness. Charlene was born on August 28, 1936 in Darlington, Wisconsin to Edward and Geneva (Schwartz) Goebel. She graduated from Darlington High School. Charlene worked at The Alamo Café in Warren, where she met the love of her life, Donald Saunders. They went on their first date on October 31, 1955. On October 6, 1956 she married Donald at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Darlington, Wisconsin, Monsignor Bernard Doyle officiated. Together they raised three children; Steven, Marcia, and Brian. Charlene briefly worked for Microswitch in Warren. In 1965 Charlene and Donald started Saunders Oil Company which today expands to six convenience stores throughout southwest Wisconsin and Northwest Illinois.

Charlene was a member of St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Warren and the Warren Women’s Club. In 2015 Charlene was awarded the William R. Deutsch Bucketeer Award from the Illinois Marketers Petroleum Association for her 50 years of service in the Petroleum Business.

Prior to Donald’s passing, they enjoyed traveling in their motor home, driving their Mustang, having their home in the Warren Christmas walk, and working in the plant and flower gardens. Charlene loved spending time with her friends and family, especially her grand and great-grandchildren.

Charlene is survived by her children; Steven (Julia Swanson) of Fort Myers, FL, Marica (Jim) Gray of Cape Coral, FL, Brian (Karlene) Saunders of Warren, IL, six grandchildren; Tanya (Bill Mizger) Phillips of Cape Coral, FL, Shawn (Kim) Saunders of Warren, IL, Luke (Tiffany) Saunders of Warren, IL, Jeremy (Meghan) Saunders of Gratiot, WI, Brianna (Dan Trost) Saunders of Warren, IL and Keegan (Kelsey Tesmer) Kent of Warren, IL; fourteen great-grandchildren; Xavier and Alex Phillips, Tristan and Taya Payne, Tyler, Brayden, Carsyn, and Kyron Saunders, Fiona Saunders, Alexa, Leyla, and Izabella Saunders, and Tinley and Jett Saunders, sisters; Rose Mary Lawler of Madison, WI and Eleanor (Vernon) Gille of Gratiot, WI, brother-in-law Bernard (Barb) Saunders of Warren, IL and sister-in-law Kathryn (Ray) Reed of Warren, IL.

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Donald in 2010, a grandson Shane Saunders in 2011, brothers; Joseph, Raymond, Robert and Karl Goebel, sisters; Margurite Sperry, Ruth Judkins, Bernadine McGrath, and Helene in infancy.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 AM on Monday, December 16, 2019 at St. Ann Catholic Church in Warren, IL.

A visitation will be held from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM, where a rosary will be said at 3:30 PM on Sunday, December 15, 2019 at the Bartell-Leamon Funeral Home in Warren, and again from 10:00 AM until 10:45 AM at the funeral home on Monday.

Burial will be at St. Ann Catholic Cemetery in Warren, IL.

The family would like to extend a special thank you to Dr. Cleary and his staff at Memorial Hospital of Lafayette County, Monroe Clinic Hospice, and her wonderful caretakers over the last few months.

Condolences may be sent to the family at